Until June 13, 2016, you can buy Alaska Airlines miles for as little as 1.97 cents each. You have to log in to your account at this link to see your offer. People are being offered bonuses of 35% to 50% on purchased miles.
The sale is structured as a bonus on the normal number of miles you’d receive. The bonus is tiered, so the biggest 35%-50% bonus comes from purchasing 50,000 to 60,000 miles at the normal price of about 2.96 cents each after tax.
If you get a 50% bonus, it costs $1,478.13 to buy 75,000 miles (50k + 25k bonus) during this sale.
- If your bonus for buying 50,000+ miles is 35%, you can buy miles for 2.19 cents each.
- If your bonus for buying 50,000+ miles is 40%, you can buy miles for 2.11 cents each.
- If your bonus for buying 50,000+ miles is 50%, you can buy miles for 1.97 cents each.
While each purchase is limited to 60,000 miles plus bonus, you can make unlimited purchases during the sale, so you can buy unlimited miles.
I don’t think Alaska miles are worth 1.97 cents each, but they are worth close to that, and if you have a specific redemption in mind, it is not hard to get more than 1.97 cents of value per mile.
Airlines on which You Can Redeem Alaska Miles
Here are the Alaska partners on which you can redeem. (Note: AeroMexico awards have been unavailable since October 2015.)
Five Favorite Redemptions
Here are my five favorite redemptions with Alaska miles:
1. Cathay Pacific First Class
Cathay Pacific First Class costs 70,000 Alaska miles one way from the United States to Asia or Africa with a free stopover in Hong Kong, or 80,000 miles one way to Australia or New Zealand, again with a free stopover possible in Hong Kong.
Cathay Pacific Premium Economy to Asia is only 35,000 Alaska miles one way and Business Class is only 50,000.
If you buy Alaska miles for 1.97 cents each, any of these awards would be a significant discount off the retail price.
2. American Airlines Flights at Pre-Devaluation Prices
Alaska still charges the same number of miles for American Airlines flights that American Airlines charged until its massive March 22, 2016 devaluation. Some steals (prices listed one way):
- 20,000 Alaska miles for seven months out of the year in economy to Europe
- 20,000 Alaska miles for five months out of the year in economy to Southern South America
- 25,000 Alaska miles for six months out of the year in economy to Japan
- 30,000 Alaska miles to Peru or Northern South America in Business Class
- 50,000 Alaska miles in Business Class to Europe, Japan, or Southern South America
- 62,500 Alaska miles in Business Class to Australia or New Zealand
3. Fiji Airways Business Class
You can fly from the United States to Fiji to New Zealand or Australia for only 55,000 Alaska miles one way in Business Class with a free stopover in Fiji.
4. Hainan Business Class
Alaska charges just 50,000 miles each way in Hainan flat bed Business Class to anywhere in Asia.
Unfortunately there are fuel surcharges of about $140 per direction.
Icelandair awards start at 22,500 miles one way to Iceland or 55,000 miles one way in Business Class to Europe with a stopover in Iceland.
Unfortunately there are fuel surcharges of about $100 per direction on these awards.
Alaska Airlines Award Routing Rules
Alaska Airlines is extremely generous allowing a stopover on one way awards, anywhere you’d like en route.
Logistics of Buying Alaska Miles
Unlike many miles sales when you are capped at how many miles you can buy, with Alaska miles sales, you can make several maximum purchases to get all the miles you need.
Remember that Alaska Airlines miles sales are handled through points.com, so they are not considered airfare or travel purchases for the purposes of earning a category bonus on your credit card.
Alaska miles are on sale until June 13, 2016 for as little as 1.97 cents each. While that’s too high of a price to buy speculatively, it is a good price if you have an immediate high value use for the miles.